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Getting To and Away

No roads go to Aguas Calientes. The farthest the road through the Sacred Valley goes is to Ollantaytambo. Therefore-unless you're doing a trek-the only transportation option to Aguas Calientes is by train. Trains run to Aguas Calientes from Poroy (just outside of Cusco) and Ollantaytambo (the latter is a shorter and cheaper trip).

There are now three train companies operating on this route: PeruRail (Tel: 558-1414 in Lima, E-mail: reservas@perurail.com, URL: www.perurail.com); Inca Rail (Portal de Panes 105, Plaza de Armas, Cusco. Tel: 233-030, URL: www.incarail.com) and Machu Picchu Train (Av. El Sol 576, Cusco. Tel: 221-199, URL www.machupicchutrain.com).
Note that no trains leave from Cusco to Aguas Calientes anymore. All three companies run services from Ollantaytambo, and PeruRail only runs services from Poroy, 20 minutes outside of Cusco. For those going from Poroy, you can take a 20-minute taxi from Cusco to the station in Poroy, which will cost you around $10 (about 25 soles) for up to four passengers.

All times and prices can and do change frequently. Check each company's website for up-to-date departure times and prices.

PeruRail: (Tel: 5-11-581414 in Lima, E-mail: reservas@perurail.com, URL: www.perurail.com). You can purchase tickets for PeruRail online or at the main office at Wanchaq station (open Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday, holidays 7 a.m.-noon, Avenida Pachacuteq). Tickets can also be bought in Lima airport and from ticketing offices in Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and PeruRail's store on Portal de Carnes 214 on Cusco's Plaza de Armas (the store is open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.). PeruRail runs three types of train: Expedition, Vistadome and Hiram Bingham. Expedition is the cheapest, but still comfortable option; Vistadome trains-as the name implies-have wonderful vistas (views) from the panoramic windows, and there is also on-board entertainment and snacks. The Hiram Bingham is a luxury, Orient-Express-style service. It includes lunch, dinner and snacks on board, private bus to Machu Picchu and entry fee, guided tour of the ruins (with a guide for every 14 passengers) and afternoon tea at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Note that the Hiram Bingham only runs from Poroy and not Ollantaytambo.

From Poroy to Aguas Calientes (3 1/2 hrs): Expedition (round trip from $93, one daily depature); Vistadome (round trip from $130, two or three daily depatures); Hiram Bingham (round trip $658, one daily departure except Sundays):

From Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (1 1/2 hrs): Expedition (round trip from $72, five daily departures); Vistadome (round trip from $104, five daily departures).

In addition PeruRail run an Autovagon service that leaves from the small station in the grounds of the Tambo del Inka Hotel in Urubamba (one daily depature, round trip from $120). The train has panoramic windows and the service includes a brunch and on-board entertainment.

Inca Rail (Portal de Panes 105, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Tel: 233-030, URL: www.incarail.com). You can buy tickets online, at the sales counter in Lima Airport, at the offices in Cusco or the train station Ollantaytambo. Inca Rail has four types of train: Tourist (round trip from $88, three daily depatures), Executive (round trip from $104, three daily depatures), First Class (round trip from $180, three daily depatures between May and October only, and also at Easter, Christmas and New Year), and Presidential (one daily departure from Urubamba and Ollantaytambo and one daily departure from Machu Picchu between 1 April and 31 December, enquire with Inca Rail for price information).

Machu Picchu Trains (Avenida El Sol 576, Cusco, Tel: 221-199, URL www.machupicchutrain.com) has one type of train, with three daily departures. Service includes food served on-board and bus transfers from Ollantaytambo to your hotel or to Cusco. A round trip costs from $63. Tickets are available to buy online.

To get to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, you can either walk or take one of the many shuttle buses. See Getting to and Away from Machu Picchu for more information.










24 Apr 2012




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